- The chairman of the Jewish Defense League and a follower
were arrested after allegedly plotting to blow up a Culver City mosque
and the office of Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., federal authorities said
- Irv Rubin, 56, and a member of the militant group, Earl
Krugel, 59, both of Los Angeles, were arrested late Tuesday after the last
component of the bomb-- explosive powder-- was delivered to Krugel's home,
U.S. Attorney John S. Gordon said.
- Other bomb components and weapons were seized during
a raid at Krugel's home.
- Rubin and Krugel were expected to appear in court later
- They were booked for conspiracy to destroy a building
by means of an explosive, which carries a maximum five year sentence, and
possession of a destructive device related to a crime of violence, which
carries a 30-year mandatory sentence.
- A government source told authorities about a series of
meetings at which the scheme to bomb the King Fahd Mosque in Culver City
and Issa's office was hammered out, Gordon said.
- The original target was to be the Muslim Public Affairs
Council in Los Angeles but the source told authorities there was another
meeting last weekend and it was changed.
- "Prior to last night's arrest, the source delivered
explosive powder, the last component required to begin construction of
the bomb, to Krugel's residence," the U.S. attorney said.
- The complaint against the pair quotes Krugel as making
a comment during a meeting that Arabs "need a wakeup
- Tajuddin Shuaib, director of the King Fahd Mosque, said
he was astonished by the alleged plot, which came during Ramadan, the
time of the year for Muslims. He said no threats were received by the
- As many as 1,000 people attend the mosque to pray there
during the Ramadan season.
- "I can't understand why people would do such a
We are not against Jews. We are not against anybody. We are like any church
or synagogue or temple," Shuaib said.
- Issa, the grandson of Lebanese immigrants, is on the
House Committee on International Relations and supports Israeli-Palestinian
peace negotiations. Last month, he met with Lebanon's president to discuss
Hezbollah, which the United States considers a terrorist group. Issa, who
represents northern San Diego County, called on the group to renounce
- Calls to Issa at his San Clemente office were referred
to Washington. A spokesman didn't immediately return calls.
- Law enforcement agencies raided Krugel's Reseda late
Tuesday. Several hours later, the screen door of the red brick home was
broken and part of the fence had been knocked down. A menorah, the Jewish
candelabra used for Hanukkah, was visible through a window and there was
an American flag on the mailbox.
- "Irv Rubin never had anything to do with
said Rubin's attorney, Peter Morris. "It seems to us that, given the
timing ... the government's action is part of an overreaction to the Sept.
- Matthew McLaughlin, an FBI spokesman in Los Angeles,
"The tools might have been in place to do this thing," he said.
"We don't put people in (custody) just for superficial impressions.
We put people in place for their physical actions."
- Rubin's wife, Shelley, said by telephone her husband
and Krugel were innocent. "They are law-abiding, good people,"
- Maher Hathout, a senior adviser for the Los Angeles
of the MPAC, said he learned today they had been a tentative target. He
said the arrests sent an encouraging message to the Muslim
- "We can easily develop an attitude that (federal
authorities) are out to get us," he said. "But it seems they
are out to get anyone who breaks the law."
- The JDL opposes what it considers threats to the Jewish
people, whether from Arabs, evangelizing Christians or pro-peace
- Originally formed by Meir Kahane to mount armed response
to anti-Semitic acts in New York City, it gained notoriety when its members
were linked to bombings, most of them aimed at Soviet targets in
for the way that country treated its Jewish population.
- When Kahane left the JDL, there was a power struggle
as Rubin vied for control.
- Kahane was assassinated in New York in 1990. El Sayyid
Nosair, 36, an Egyptian-born Muslim, was convicted in connection with the
- Rubin has made a career out of confrontation, challenging
white supremacists to fistfights, burning a Confederate flag outside a
Reno courthouse, and being tried in 1980 for soliciting the murders of
Nazis in the United States (he was found innocent). By his own count he
has been arrested more than 40 times.